MIT Sloan is again preparing for its annual one day CIO symposium, which will be held this year on May 22 in Cambridge, Mass. The event, a community gathering of CEOs, CIOs, senior executives, academics and IT partners will feature nine panels exploring academic research and innovative technologies.

The title of this year's agenda is "Piloting the Untethered Enterprise," a look at the ways in which CIOs are coping with emergent landscapes of distributed organization, social, mobile, big data and more.

It's the convergence of these many trends that has IT leaders taking pause, not that they can afford it, according to Barnard Crespi, marketing co-chair for this year’s MIT event.

"Particularly when data is so distributed, with big data, the mobility aspect and also cloud computing interest aspect, how do they manage all these resources that used to be held within the confines of the organization?"

The event’s perennial CIO panel will cover practical considerations of managing competing priorities and making CIOs as effective as possible. As part of the new distributed landscape, panels will also consider new takes on enterprise architecture, which Crespi says has been evolving significantly.

Another tradition is the CEO panel, which looks at how the CIO works in conjunction with the CEO towards organizational objectives.

The academic panel, Crespi says, also will lean to the practical and a new panel will convene to discuss new technological advances and solutions in MIT’s research community.

There will also be an Innovation Showcase of 10 selected technology startups with less than $10 million revenue in trailing and a round of financing. Last year’s group included Rypple, which was acquired by Salesforce.com this year.

There is no buying in for the showcase finalists, chosen from dozens of entrants, Crespi says. “The trajectory and what's happened to them over the years has been interesting to see.”

The event is a partnership between MIT Sloan, the Center for Digital Business and the Boston chapter of the Society for Information Management.

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